The Legend of Zorro

first_imgThe Legend of Zorrodir Martin Campbellout nowIn 1998, The Mask of Zorro, alsodirected by Martin Cambell,was released to general acclaim.A rousing, swashbuckling adventurewith a healthy dose of humour,it made a sequel entirely predictable.Sadly, predictable is certainlythe watchword for this latest offeringfrom the conveyor-belt that isHollywood. The film, essentially aninferior photocopy of the original,is not terrible, but it is terribly mediocre.The sultry spark of the first filmhas vanished, replaced by lazy actingand an even lazier script. Thestory, little more than a series of frequentlyillogical plot devices, opensin 1850 as California votes on joiningthe Union. Zorro is enduringsomewhat less than marital bliss,with his devotion to work resultingin estrangement from his beautifulwife. This potentially emotional storylineis instead played for laughs,as Zorro strives to win Elena backfrom a villain so bland I’ve alreadyforgotten his name. Naturally, healso has to save America.The Legend of Zorro is sporadicallyfunny, but the broad slapstickmerely contributes to its uneventone, as it tries (and fails) to find abalance between grit and sanitisedfamily fare. The introduction of aZorro Junior to the forefront of theaction was always going to be intenselyirritating. One also wonderswhy the skilful swordsman Zorronever actually kills anyone with hissword.Nevertheless, the blockbusterdoes have its moments, and it occasionallyfeels like a better story islurking just out of reach. A mealtimescene proves surprisingly macabreand the rousing fighting ofthe climax is undeniably exciting.On a different front, real emotionis felt when Zorro’s identity is revealed,yet the chief effect of this isto highlight the sterility of the restof the affair.It is a depressing thought that sausagefactory of Hollywood cannotmuster the courage to experimentwith fresh material. Recycling is agood thing when it comes to litter,but not when cinema is concerned.The word ‘sequel’ may arouse producersin Bel-Air, but for me it hasall the excitement of toast.There are exceptions, of course,that prove this rule. This film,as you may have guessed, is notone of them. No amount of scenery,swords, special effects or even(gasp) Antonio Banderas can hidethe unerring feeling that The Legendof Zorro has nothing new tosay. Far from being a legend, thisfilm proved difficult to rememberlong enough to write a review.ARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005last_img read more

Wisconsin endeavors to build off strong 2005 finish

first_imgDEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoAfter a cold winter, spring is usually the season of new beginnings, a time to shake off those winter blues and wipe the slate clean. The women’s soccer team on the other hand isn’t looking toward a new beginning.After struggling during the Big Ten regular season in 2005, the women’s soccer team dominated the competition during the last month of the season, in which they won seven consecutive games and won their first Big Ten tournament title since 1994. Although some key personnel are missing from last year’s team, the lady Badgers are poised to make a run deep into the postseason in the upcoming fall.The key thing for Wisconsin in the 2006 season is replacing the four seniors that were instrumental to their success last season. Forwards Marisa Brown, Katy Lindenmuth and Amy Vermeulen comprised 66 of Wisconsin’s 137 points last season. Additionally, Wisconsin lost first team Academic All-American Jessica Ring, who anchored a Badger defense that gave up only 31 goals last season.With most of the scoring gone from last season, Wisconsin is looking toward senior captain Kara Kabellis. Named to the All-Big Ten first team, Kabellis hopes to surpass the numbers she put up last season, scoring seven goals and six assists in Wisconsin’s 24 games. Looking to help take some of the scoring load off Kabellis will be sophomores Taylor Walsh and Elise Weber. Both Walsh and Weber highlighted an outstanding freshmen recruiting class for the Badgers, with both of them playing in every game for the Badgers last season and combining for eight goals.Wisconsin head coach Dean Duerst maintains that the Badgers will be just as potent on offense this season, with the addition of nine red-shirt freshmen competing for playing time.”We’re going to have no problem scoring goals this year,” Duerst said. “We have Weber, Walsh, Kabellis and players like Lindsay Walker and Shannon Terry, who didn’t play a lot of minutes last year but still are dangerous players. We have the personnel to score goals.”In addition to the red-shirt freshman competing for playing time, Wisconsin ushers in a balanced 2006 recruiting class that includes three midfielders, one forward and one goaltender. Out of the five recruits, Ashley Hedges shows the most potential of seeing a lot of time on the field. Hailing from Carmel, Calif., Hedges led Carmel High School to three state championships, in addition to being named twice to the all-state and all-district teams in California. With all this firepower coming in next season, there figures to be a real battle for playing time at the start of the season.”Everybody asks if you see anybody in your recruiting class being able to come right in and play and I think every year is that you just don’t know,” Duerst said. “I think the recruits are really going to help challenge a lot of players … The last [few] recruiting classes have played very good together, where you had multiple players at different positions and that’s what we have with this latest class.”The most interesting battle to watch going into the season will be which goalie Wisconsin decides to use. Junior Lynn Murray saw the majority of action in 2005, playing in 22 games for the Badgers, winning 13, and allowing only 1.11 goals per game. Murray also registered five shutouts and was named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the week in October.On the other hand, senior captain Stefani Szczechowski has proven that she is a capable goalie over her three seasons at Wisconsin. After getting the majority of playing time in her first season, Szczechowski time in goal has varied. She saw action in only seven games last season, but showed a strong defensive presence in the net, allowing only seven goals while notching 10 saves during her time in the net. Although it is feasible to have the two goalies play on a rotational basis, the Wisconsin coaching staff looks to try and avoid that a pick a number one goalie.”As Lynn and Steph are here together, they have always been battling and competing for time and it’s been that way since Lynn has come on board,” Duerst said. “Steph knows what is in front of her. They both have experience and they both will continue to have experience with our backs. You want to keep things competitive but ultimately, coaches and the team want to stick with a number one goalie who has risen to be that number one.”Through three games this spring so far, Wisconsin appears equally as powerful offensively and defensively as they did last season. In their recent match against UWM, Wisconsin got goals from Kabellis and assistant captain Allison Preiss, while the youthful defense didn’t allow a score in the Badgers’ victory.That said, Duerst looks to use this time to try different things on both sides of the ball to give Wisconsin that extra kick it was sometimes missing in games last season.”In essence, spring season is the molding for your year and the beginnings of that mold and what we need in order to play,” Duerst said. “I think what we are really looking at, and the players understand that, is an extension of last year’s play and try to get everything more connected. As coaches, we really have to teach more in the spring because we have more time and that has been a real value so far.”last_img read more

Donegal’s RNLI volunteers issue their own call for help

first_imgAs Christmas approaches, the RNLI is issuing its own call for help as the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews are getting busier. The charity is facing a ‘Perfect Storm’ with more people than ever needing its help, meaning support from the public is more vital than ever. Last year, Irish lifeboats launched 1,066 times coming to the aid of 1,441 people,19 of whom were lives saved. Locally, Bundoran RNLI launched 14 times, rescuing 22 people. Five lived were saved thanks to the direct actions of the lifeboat crew.To ensure the RNLI can continue its lifesaving work this Christmas and into the future, the charity is running a major fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm.While many people will be thinking about presents, turkey and time with the family, dedicated RNLI volunteers from three lifeboat stations in Donegal will be ensuring their yellow wellies and lifejackets are ready for when the call comes and will be prepared to drop everything at a moment’s notice to save lives at sea.In many cases, volunteers will need to abandon their turkey dinner and head to their lifeboat station when the call for help comes in. Bundoran RNLI volunteers: L-R Tony Cummins, Daimon Fergus and Damien McNamaraThe community lifesaving team at Bundoran RNLI, can remember one such Christmas back in 1998 when two brothers were rescued from a surfing accident off the coast of Tullaghan, County Leitrim. The rescue was acknowledged by the RNLI with a written letter of commendation from the charity’s then Chief of Operations.On the 28 December 1998, a surfer raised the alarm that two others could not get ashore.Volunteer Daimon Fergus, who was one of three crew members called, recalled the south easterly force 5 offshore wind and a swell of 22ft at the time on that day. They were guided to the location and swiftly recovered the two casualties.Damien said: “I won’t forget the fact that the first surfer squeezed my hand so tight that he bent the thick silver ring on my right hand into my finger and the ring had to be cut off when we got back to the station.” Bundoran RNLIOne of those surfers was Mark Ponsonby from Letterkenny who says he will be eternally grateful for the speedy launch of the lifeboat that day: “It’s been over 20 years now since my brother and myself were rescued by the RNLI in the sea at Bundoran.  I often wonder what would have happened to us or become of us if it wasn’t for the timely interaction and rescue by the RNLI services that day. “In a matter of minutes, they had answered the emergency call and had launched the boat. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter was also tasked to come to our aid. “The conditions we found ourselves in were extreme and treacherous and the timing was critical for that rescue as the light was fading fast, yet the RNLI volunteers didn’t hesitate to get to us as fast as possible. “My family will forever be grateful to the RNLI on that day and will never forget what they did for my brother and me that day.”Now, as the current volunteer lifeboat crew prepare for Christmas 2019, they too will be ready and willing to respond should their pagers go off.For Daimon who has been a volunteer for 25 years, Christmas is no different to any other time of year: “We’ll still be on call ready to save lives and delay our own Christmas celebrations. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public. The RNLI has experienced a shortfall in funds, but we are rescuing more people than ever before. We are facing the Perfect Storm and are calling on people to make a donation this Christmas to ensure we can continue saving lives at sea.”To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, please visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStormDonegal’s RNLI volunteers issue their own call for help was last modified: December 9th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more